Authors, all from Cleveland State University: Craig Fotin, DBA, CPA, Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting; Heidi Hylton Meier, DBA, CPA, Chair and Professor, Department of Accounting; Jan Rose, MBA, CPA, CMA, Lecturer of Accounting; Peter Poznanski, Ph.D., CPA, CMA, CFM, Professor Emeritus, Department of Accounting


After completing Principles of Accounting I (financial accounting) and II (managerial accounting), most Accounting majors enroll in Intermediate Accounting 1 .

For almost all students, the quantity and difficulty level of the material makes Intermediate Accounting one of the most difficult courses they will take in their degree program. Compounding this difficulty level is the elapsed time since they took Principles of Accounting I. Without a thorough knowledge of Principles of Accounting I, especially the basic concepts, many students are re-learning the material from Principles of Accounting I at the same time they are attempting to learn the new material from Intermediate Accounting.

Historically the class grade point average (GPA) for Intermediate Accounting ranges from approximately 2.00 to 2.40 on 4.00 point scale (prior two year ranges). This GPA is after a significant number of students have withdrawn from the class due to failing grades, and eliminating the grades of students who did not withdraw the class and did not take the final exam. For the prior two years, approximately 30% of the students who take the first exam withdraw from the course.

To help students succeed in the class, it was decided to offer assistance at the start of the semester to help them relearn the basics from Principles of Accounting I.  Up until three years ago, Intermediate Accounting was a four-credit-hour course where instructors had the “luxury” of spending more time reviewing the material from the Principles of Accounting I course. Now students are faced with learning this complex material in an even shorter in-class time frame.

This research examines the variables that have the biggest impact on the lack of success in Intermediate accounting, then identifies interventions and the impact on student success.

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